BHOPAL GROUPS SUBVERT DOW-FUNDED LIVE EARTH RUN FOR WATER IN DELHI
18 April, 2010. NEW DELHI
Hindustan Sea Turtle Alliance (HASTA), organizers of the Live Earth Run for Water in New Delhi, revealed today that they were a fictitious group set up to expose the global event as Dow Chemical’s attempt to sidestep its legal responsibilities by engaging in greenwash. The Dow Live Earth Run for water has received millions of dollars in sponsorship from Dow allegedly to increase awareness about issues of global water scarcity. “We are doing this to expose the irony of Dow sponsoring a global awareness campaign on water scarcity, even while it is being called upon by communities from Bhopal to Michigan to clean up precious water resources damaged by Dow’s activities,” said Rachna Dhingra of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.
HASTA was formed after several attempts to highlight the water problems caused by Dow Chemical in Bhopal and other places in Live Earth’s facebook and twitter platforms were systematically blocked by Live Earth organizers. Inspired by anti-corporate pranksters The Yes Men, Bhopal activists registered themselves as a “friend of live earth” by pretending to be an organization set up by the guilt ridden wife of a steel industrialist. (www.seaturtlealliance.org ).
Interestingly, when fictitious HASTA employee “Rohit Jain” called Dow India spokesperson Roysten D’mello, he was advised by D’mello to consider dropping any reference to Dow in HASTA’s communications. “Use only LiveEarth’s name. Don’t use Dow’s name. You should be ok,” he told “Rohit.”
Featuring paintings, a fortune-teller, snake charmer, juggler, magician and other lively communicators, the counter Live Earth event took visitors and passers-by through a colourful, multimedia display of Dow Chemical’s global track record of pollution, corruption and subverting democracy.
www.bhopal.net lists Bhopal, Vietnam, New Zealand, Michigan, Louisiana, Brazil, Texas as Dow legacy sites where severe water contamination was caused due to products or facilities of Dow or its subsidiaries. In Dow’s headquarters, Midland, Michigan, the waters and sediment of the River Tittabawassee are so polluted with the super-toxin dioxin from Dow’s factories upstream that local people have been warned to avoid contact with river sediment and to not eat river fish.
Till date, more than 850 people have signed a petition asking Live Earth to dissociate from Dow Chemical, and instead lend their voice to the global call to make Dow clean up the toxic contamination in Bhopal and provide clean water to Bhopalis. More than 20,000 people in Bhopal are still drinking water laced with poisons leaching from the toxic wastes the company left buried and strewn in and around its factory in Bhopal.
Bhopal supporters around the world, including Amnesty International, are protesting Dow’s sponsorship of Live Earth in Vancouver (Canada), Chile, Switzerland, Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Houston in USA. Meanwhile, organizers of events in Stockholm (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Berlin (Germany), London (UK), and Chennai (India) have either cancelled the events or dissociated themselves from Dow and Live Earth.
For more information, contact: Rachna Dhingra: 9582314869
Hindustan Seaturtle Alliance cancels LiveEarth Walk/Run for Water, Announces Bhopal Walk for Water; exposes Dow Chemical-sponsored Live Earth Run for Water as company propaganda to divert attention from Dow’s responsibilities
Featuring a fortune-teller, snake charmer, juggler, magician and other lively communicators, the Bhopal Walk for Water will take visitors through a colourful multimedia display of Dow Chemical’s skills in jugglery, magic, handling poisons and even certain dark arts.
WHEN: 5.00 p.m. 18 April, 2010. (Sunday)
WHERE: Central Park, Connaught Place
Hindustan Seaturtle Alliance’s LiveEarth Run for Water is now Bhopal Run for Water. HASTA’s event, in collaboration with the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, publicly exposes the Dow Chemical-sponsored Live Earth Run for Water as company propaganda. The event is being held to highlight Dow Chemical’s irresponsible handling of the issues facing the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas tragedy in Bhopal, and a pattern of human rights and environmental violations by the company in courntries across the world. Nearly 20,000 people in Bhopal continue to consume water tainted with Union Carbide’s poisons. Dow and Union Carbide have refused to clean-up the toxic wastes that are contaminating the groundwater table near the factory.
Live Earth claims to be hosting Walk/Run for Water on 18 April in more than 100 countries worldwide to raise money and awareness of water. New Delhi’s cancellation of Live Earth Run for Water is the latest in a series of cancellations, with London, Chennai, Berlin and Milan setting the example.
For more information, contact:
Sherebanu Frosh: 9953466107. For Hindustan Sea Turtle Alliance
Nityanand Jayaraman: 09444082401
Executive Director: Shalini Subramanium
You’re part of Live Earth because you genuinely, passionately want cleaner, safer water for everyone on earth. For you it is not just marvellous words and empty promises. But all your effort, passion, care and concern are being hijacked by a giant corporation which has done more probably than any other to poison life on this planet, and whose victims as you read this are suffering and dying in their hundreds of thousands.
Please take a look at what else you can do